Hardcopter Mutant Vehicle
The Cargo Cult of Volis
On dark and dusty nights in the Hardware Shoppe, Hardwarians tell the old stories of the god Volis, who came back through time and space to give us duct tape so that we might fix the world. And so the Hardware Shoppe came to be, a temple for the clerics to carry out Volis’ command – to take all the cargo that is broken and lacking function, and give it new life. Now, from the same people who brought you the Khussamobiles, we present the Hardcopter.
In our recent adventures, we came upon a rare piece of Volisian technology that had fallen into disrepair. It was a strange and brilliant device of a shape resembling nothing here on Earth. Using the divine teachings of Volis, we have resurrected the vehicle and have once again returned it to the service of all.
Where once the clerics of BRC Hardware were forced to tread through the scorching desert to fix those things that couldn’t be brought to the Shoppe, now they are granted this sacred piece of cargo so that they may offer their services beyond the confines of the Shoppe.
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The Hardcopter’s first year in the desert was 2013, and each year it has been augmented and updated with new lights and/or rotor assembly to make it safer and more radically illuminated. It was also present at Critical NW in 2018.
Since 1999, we have been committed to our mission: to fix that which is broken– from civilian bike baskets to copper propane tubing to fixing The Man, Himself. But some things can’t be brought to us, and we wish to expand our service to reach more people. If the broken mountain cannot come to Hardware, Hardware would like to come to the mountain (and fix it).
Remote projects often come with the arduous task of lugging our precious and heavy tools to the outskirts of the city. Our intent with a Hardware vehicle is to expand our area of service – simply put, to fix more things and provide a greater service to our community. This is not a mass transport vehicle, a roving DJ station, nor a party bus. There will be no large sound system or flame effects. This is a service and outreach vehicle for HxW Staff.
The HARDCOPTER is made from a sparkling blue 1989 Chariot Mobility Unit (essentially a 3-wheeled, open-air scooter for wheelchairs), a vehicle that was only in production for three years total. We guarantee you haven’t seen anything quite like it, even before it was fixed and used in service of BRC Hardware. The stock engine is a 2-stroke, 50cc scooter motor that has not been altered.
The fiberglass body has been completely removed from the vehicle, leaving a steel chassis that looks more like a metal bucket. We curved and welded steel tube into a frame, and bolted it to the original frame of the Chariot in the (rather cartoonish) shape of a Huey helicopter. Then we filled it out with a few mesh panels to help achieve the shape.
Above the height of most humans, a set of aluminum-frame rotors are spun on a low-torque motor with the lowest clutch setting, which will harmlessly cease spinning if obstructed by an object or person. This avoids the risk of injury to incredibly tall passers-by. We’ve added a tail and rotor to the back, completing the chopper look. The tail unlatches and swings aside in order to deploy our cargo ramp, which is the only entrance and exit for the vehicle (max. capacity: 3).
The body will be illuminated by a combination of LED wire and panels, port and starboard lights in addition to the stock vehicle running lights, headlamp, brake lights, and blinkers. This should create a safe vessel for nighttime excursions. An adjustable search light will allow us to work on remote projects at night, and will provide extra safety if caught on the open playa during a dust storm.
We’ve come to the rescue of many artists and performance venues when the chips are down, and we’re proud of the work the Hardcopter has enabled us to do over the last three years.